Re G.O.P. Senators Balk at Tax Cuts in Bush's Budget (NY Times, 3/10/05)
This year's budget process is already setting up a more strident and public battle among Republicans than we've seen in a long time. This fight pits "liberal" Republicans like Olympia Snowe who are trying to make a deal with their colleagues versus "conservative" Republicans like Paul Ryan who are fighting for fiscally responsible principles which they hold strongly. In particular, the Senate does not have the stomach to make sensitive but justified spending cuts but many House members do. With the exception of the Medicare drug benefit, President Bush is on the side of Ryan and friends, and if I were a betting man I would be too. However, all involved Republicans must be aware of dividing and conquering themselves, something the Democrats can now see as a tantalizing possibility.